New interfaces 02/ Václav Janoščík: This is fine. Survival as a lifestyle, thought and/or artistic style

We cordially invite you to the second lecture from the New Interface 02 series called This is fine. Survival as a lifestyle, thought and/or artistic style. We will welcome Václav Janoščík to the MEDIUM Gallery on Sunday, March 5, 2023 at 4:00 p.m.

MEDIUM Gallery, Hviezdoslavovo námestie 18, Bratislava


The lecture is a free continuation of last year's lecture by Václav Janoščík for New Interfaces Trauma and Ontology: Survival in Computer Games and Philosophy, which you can watch on our YouTube.


We recommend watching the 3rd part of the series The Last of Us before the lecture!



Phenomena such as depression, dystopia, apocalypse, survival or crisis are increasingly exposed in our current culture. Are we really living in such critical times? Or is the temporality of the crisis connected with the entire era of modern society? Do we have to understand the dark imagination of the future as a rejection of the possibilities of acting in the present and planning the future? Or can we learn from apocalyptic forms? I will try to outline a short history of contemporary gaming (not only video games) and thinking (not only philosophical) in order to show the historical assumptions of how the future and the politics of time are woven into our culture, gaming and thinking. In 1935, almost ninety years ago, Walter Benjamin published his most famous essay The Work of Art in the Age of Technical Reproducibility. This, for example, the most read text in art schools to this day, not only establishes the modern media theory, by asking about the technological prerequisites of our social and political situation, as well as our feelings and thoughts. Benjamin's essay is also a text about the paradoxical rhythm of progress and apocalypse, production and destruction, when he ends his analysis with words about humanity's self-estrangement, which has reached such a degree that it can be experienced as the highest aesthetic pleasure. In the same year, 1935, the Monopoly game was released for the first time as a commercial product, following on from the previous, almost identical game The Landlord's Game. While the blueprint was created with the intention of showing how pernicious the environment of capitalism is, where only the owner of the means of production can win at the expense of everyone else, Monopoly already uses capitalist logic as a fun, competitive and apolitical gameplay. Peter Osborne, the most important theoretician of "contemporary art" (not by position, but precisely by the ability to philosophically define the production of today's artists, which is otherwise very difficult to unify), published a book last year with the suggestive title Crisis as a Form. Very directly, and despite relatively complex historical-philosophical excursions, he nevertheless tests the idea whether the crisis itself is not the proper form of contemporary (post-media) art. It was only last month that the series The Last of Us based on the hyper-successful computer game from 2013 (Part I) and 2020 (Part II) was released on the HBO platform. Not only thanks to the high-quality material, but also thanks to the intermediate and historical distance, it is a very interesting and instructive adaptation of well-known post-apocalyptic plots and figures. Despite some traditional moments (zombie apocalypse, father-daughter relationship, emotional twists), or thanks to their complications, the space of audiovisual dystopia becomes closer, more realistic and also mass popular despite its (TV) quality. 1935 and 2023. What happened in between is not just "history", it is the assumptions of our current situation, of what we expect from the future and from ourselves. Perhaps it is a random, speculative-historical chronology, but perhaps it also answers the indicated questions. Anyway, the history of gaming and the history of thought have a lot to say to each other.


Václav Janoščík

is a teacher, theoretician and curator, currently works at AVU in Prague. He has edited several issues on issues of contemporary thought ranging from new materialism, speculative realism, accelerationism, future studies and media theory.


Interdisciplinary lecture series New interfaces 02

in the dramaturgy of the head of the MEDIUM Gallery, Miroslava Urbanová, it focuses on topics affecting our conditions of cognition in the interfaces of constantly updating technologies and in contrast with the desire for an authentic, visceral experience of the escaping here and now. It focuses primarily on the investigation and reflection of different types of spaces, their meanings, transformations, cohabitation within spaces: public space, digital spaces, topoi, spaces that remain seemingly untouched by people, or are totally and irreversibly transformed. The aim of the lectures is to provide a comprehensible approach to aspects of our lived online present in circles that reflect the posthumanist discourse, transformations in the perception of time and temporality, new artistic interfaces such as game art. At the same time, the lectures reflect the themes that appear in the dramaturgy of the exhibition plan of the gallery (and the reading club for VŠVU students What's the Point?), which carries a certain line of tension between the subject reacting to the new interfaces of technological progress, its effects on our perception of living and virtual reality and escape to the corporeality of experience.


Supported by the Slovak Arts Council in the form of a scholarship.